Villajoyosa - the chocolate city
It was the Spaniards who brought the chocolate to Spain and Europe. Until the Civil War, chocolate was an equally important drink for Spaniards as tea was for the Englishmen. Villajoyosa was a pioneer town in the production of solid chocolate. Here you can visit three chocolate museums.
The chocolate that the Mexicans drank, was spiced with chili pepper and was therefore bitter and spicy. When the Spaniards added sugar and heated it, it became tempting also for European palates.
The first transport of chocolate from South America to Spain was shipped in the 1520s, but regular transportation was first established in the 18th century. It first covered the demand in Spain and eventually also in the rest of Europe.
It was the royal family that first began to drink hot chocolate, and it is believed that the custom was spread to other European countries through marriage and royal visits. Until the end of the eighteenth century, chocolate was only consumed as a liquid hot drink.
Villajoyosa was a pioneer village and one of the first in Spain to produce chocolate in solid form as we know it today. The first factories were established in the 1870s, and in 1937 there were 29 factories in this small fishing village. Today there are three factories left and they all have their own museum.
Chocolates Pérez is the oldest and the only one who has preserved the craft of chocolate production. In the original factory building, the chocolate is still produced as it was in the past. In the museum you can see the equipment they used in the beginning of chocolate production and later when the machines came.
Pérez currently produces mainly for the Spanish market. In addition to the original factory which today also serves as a museum, the factory has a modern production facility. In the museum section you can meet the grandchild of the founder of the factory, he is the guide sometimes.
It was the Spaniards who developed the art of making chocolate in solid form. Later, the Swiss developed the chocolate by adding milk. Traditionally, milk has not been an ingredient in Spanish chocolate.
Chocolates Valor, founded in 1881 by Valenciano López Lloret, is the largest factory. This is also a family business, and today is the fifth generation of the López family who owns and operates it.
Valor established its own chocolate museum in 1998, and has since opened its doors to the public every weekday all year round.
The tour takes place in groups and is professionally organized. You first enter a meeting room where you will see a film about the company's history, and you will see production equipment and other utility items from the beginning of the chocolate production, and then you get a little view of today's production.
Finally, visit the factory store where you can buy chocolate in bulk or in ready-made gift packages.
The precursor of Chocolate's Clavileño was founded in 1882 by Valenciano López Lloret, the same one who founded Valor. In 1960, three of his grandchildren (brothers) established Clavileño named after Don Quijote's wooden horse. It is now the fourth generation of Lloret who runs the company.
In August there are guided tours to all three museums in what is called "Xocolatíssima". However, you can visit the museums at any time for the rest of the year, but then you make an appointment (applies to Clavileño). All three museums are free.
More excursions: www.turideer.com.
Adress: Pianista Gonzalo Soriano, 13
Telephone: +34 966 810 451
Only guided group tours. The tour takes 45 minutes.
Monday to Friday: 10.00, 12.00 and 13.00 and 17.00, 18.00 and 19.00
Saturday: 10.00, 12.00 and 13.00
Monday to Friday: 11 am and 4 pm
Get to the museum well in advance of one of the times for guided tours. The guided tour is free, but you have to take a ticket from the machine outside. The ticket serves as a ticket. They only release groups of 50 at a time. If you are too late, wait until the next tour time.
You are allowed to take pictures in the museum, but not in the factory. If you can't manage to join one of the English speaking groups, try one of those Spanish guided tours. The guides are very service minded and will do whatever they can to make sure you get the benefit of the tour anyway.
Adress: Partida Mediases, 1
Telephone: +34 965 890 573
Monday to Friday: 10-13 and 17-20
Groups must book time, but otherwise you are free to meet up within the opening hours.
Adress: Calle Colon 187.
Telephone: +34 965 890 778.
Call or e-mail to arrange visits to the museum.